I got into the beehives yesterday or, more accurately, beehive. Last fall the apiary lost two hives due to robbing (wasps stealing honey and brood. Three colonies went into the winter. The weakest colony died in December and the next weakest hung on till February. Luckily the strongest colony did last through the winter. Good … More Bee Report – Good Spring Activity
Last night, Scott gave a presentation to the Dane County Beekeeping Association about Varroa destructor, a parasite afflicting the European honeybee across the world. An audio recording was made, but due to technical difficulties (wrong microphone selected on recorder), it is not available. Instead, the notes with citations are available as well as links to … More Varroa Mite Presentation Slideshow, Notes, and Resources
Scott Johnson, director of the Low Technology Institute, will be speaking to the Dane County Beekeepers’ Association (locally known as Madbees) about the Varroa destructor mite. This tick-like creature has become honey bees’ top pest over the last few decades. As we’re learning, colony collapse disorder seems to be caused by a variety of factors … More Upcoming Presentation: Varroa destructor, Scourge of the Honey Bee
It is time to prepare the hives for winter. We harvested honey a month and a half ago and the bees have refilled their frames with honey. Each hive needs about 100 lb of honey to survive the winter. Additionally, the hive has to be organized so that the bees can access the honey and … More Bee Report — Last Inspection of the Fall
Yesterday I described the Bienenhaus (bee house) at the Swiss Historical Village in New Glarus, Wisconsin. Today I am providing PDFs of four resources from their archives. Thanks again to the folks at the Swiss Historical Village for access to these materials. Their bee house was donated by the Barth family and in the archive … More Das Bienenhaus (The Bee House) Information from the Swiss Village Archives — Part II
In Switzerland and other German-speaking Alpine regions, bees were traditionally kept in large, purpose-built sheds. Since the 1970s, their popularity has declined as they were overtaken by Langstroth and other cheaper beehive configurations. I’ve been interested in this type of beehive because they are aesthetically pleasing and may provide better winter survival as the colonies … More Das Bienenhaus (The Bee House) at the Swiss Historical Village– Part I
This spring I built a few horizontal Langstroth hives. These are more user friendly than the stacked boxes of Langstroth-style hives (these are the typical ones you see around the countryside), and I have new ones for sale. In June I installed three colonies in two hive bodies. These hives have space for winter insulation … More Bee Report — Horizontal Langstroth Update
I am back in the hive looking for queen cells in the hive I split a few days ago. I brought the camera in closer for a better look. In short, the bees have raised queen cells.
We’re in the process of moving into our permanent location and we’ll be limiting our posts to short entries. Please bear with us.
On the first day moving into the Longborne property, we spied a Groundhog (AKA Woodchuck), which we have dubbed “Phil” after the famous groundhog in Pennsylvania. As he is not posing a problem to our grounds or livestock, we’re going to let him continue to occupy his burrow. He was here before us, after all. … More Meet Phil the Groundhog
We’re in the process of moving into our permanent location and we’ll be limiting our posts to short entries. Please bear with us. We picked up our hives last week and moved them to our new location. As bees are diurnal, we move hives at night by plugging the entry when all the bees are … More Bee Report — Moving Hives